Friday, June 13, 2014

Update - Where We Are In The Process

It's been a while - a busy while I might add! Between working at the store, running the home, and the kids being out of school for the summer, I've been one busy mama. Plus, we are getting ready to leave for our annual mission trip to Ethiopia in just 7 days! Yes - we leave next Friday afternoon and I can hardly wait.
We are leading a team of 12 people from our community on a mission trip through Ordinary Hero where we will minister to the women and children in some of the poorest areas around Addis Ababa. These precious people are considered outcasts from their families and social circles and have had to leave them to go live in either the trash dump community known as Korah, or up on Entoto Mountain. I am especially excited to go back to Entoto because after leaving last year, God kept pressing on my heart to DO something for the kids on Entoto. My heart was broken at the level of poverty and the screaming and crying that happened when the food ran out at the feeding program before all of the children got fed. It was horrific and something I still can't get out of my head. So, I was able to set up a child sponsorship program through Ordinary Hero for the kiddos in the feeding program on Entoto Mountain. This feeding program is run by a local man, Endinhnew, who has no resources himself but does his best to find food for 160 kids every Saturday. Over the course of a year, I have been able to find sponsors for 16 kids, and with the help of 2 other amazing gals at OH, we have found people to donate to the feeding program so that those kids are fed every week without fail. We also were able to get these kids enrolled in school last year right after we left thanks to some generous donors who paid for their uniforms, fees and supplies. God is moving on Entoto Mountain and I love seeing this place transform from ashes to beauty!
This year, I will be taking my team to not only work the feeding program and pass out blessing bags there, but also do home visits on all of my sponsored kids to make sure they are doing well. I will also be hand delivering packages from their sponsors! I can't wait to see the look on their faces when they get their own little packages to open. And we will be meeting our sponsor son for the first time. His name is Belete. He was orphaned as a young boy and went to live with his grandmother. She moved to Entoto a few years ago because she is HIV positive and the belief is that if you are sick, there is "holy water" there so you go there for healing. After several years, she couldn't afford him and his siblings so she made him move out and he had no choice but to live on his own. He is only 14!!! He was homeless, hungry, cold, and had nothing - literally. I can't wait to meet him and hug his neck, hang out with him while we are there, and let him be mine and David's son while we are there.
We will also get to see our sponsor family from Korah! A mom and her 3 small children. I cannot wait to see this precious family again!!! We were connected with them on our last trip and we loved them the minute we met them. The mama couldn't have been more precious and those kids - well, they were pure joy. The 10 year old girl just wanted to hold my hand and be with me, and her two younger brothers loved David. Can't wait to hug them and spend time with them too!

However, I'm sure you all want more of an adoption update so I should get on topic. I just get so excited when I talk about going back to Ethiopia and my mission work.

Our home study was officially approved early last week and we received all of our copies in the mail that are for everyone and their brother :) Our agency approved the home study so we are officially ON THE WAITING LIST!!! This means that we should be getting matched with a child sometime in the next 12-15 months.
So, our next step was to submit the home study, other paperwork, and $890 to USCIS (basically Homeland Security). This is the government section that will either approve or deny us the rights to be adoptive parents based on our home study. Please pray that they do not hold the breast cancer against us. I am so so so nervous about this and I don't know why. My oncologist wrote a letter stating I have a normal life span so it should be okay, but I've been told you never know. So prayers are always appreciated. We will know in 2-4 weeks. After that, we will just go to get MORE fingerprints done (for the same agencies we have already had them done for), and then we will continue working on our dossier.
The work continues in the Fundraising. We are both working hard at saving and fundraising. Our next big amount due is $12,700. If you would like to purchase one of the believe bands that is shown on the side bar of the blog, you can do so on paypal. If you would like to purchase multiple bands to give away, use for gifts, or sell for us just send me an email and I will tell you the easiest way to do that. My email address is BlevinsAdoption@gmail.com. We also have our adoption fundraising webpage where all donations are tax deductible. The money you give goes to Ordinary Hero in our adoption fund,and they send it all straight to our agency on our behalf. The website for that is www.grouprev.com/blevinsadoption. We so appreciate any and all help with our adoption fundraising. We have been blessed in this venture and we know that God will continue to do so.

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